Rodney Hide on Panama Papers

Rodney Hide discusses the Panama Papers at NBR:

I must admit to bitter disappointment.  I wouldn’t have had such high hopes if it was just Nicky Hager but the big reveal was to be different: top journalists at TVNZ and RNZ had spent a week-and-a-half trolling though the data ahead of its public release.

They were promising the “biggest new development” in the “Panama Papers scandal.”

I had some qualms. The information was private and personal. It was stolen. Innocent people’s private affairs were to be made public.

There was also the promise of political carnage.

But against that, Mr Hager declared, “What the Panama Papers show without any doubt at all, absolutely conclusively, is that New Zealand is functioning as a tax haven.”

And it was not just Mr Hager: TVNZ’s Andrea Vance said New Zealand “ticked all the boxes.”


I have always wanted my assets stashed away from snooping eyes and grasping government.

That’s because Inland Revenue is depriving me of the right to go about my life and business without interference. Government agents can at any time open up my financial affairs through third parties without warrant and without notice.

There is no financial privacy.

What’s more, the IRD deprives me of privacy to deprive me of my property. It’s a disgusting double whammy.

Hence, the attraction of a foreign trust.

But the mechanics have always eluded me.

No more. Mr Hager and his team were to reveal  all. Even better: They declared New Zealand a tax haven.

How fantastic. I could hide my income and receive it tax free.

The promised day finally arrived.

What a disappointment. The big reveal was a fizzer.

New Zealand is no tax haven. There’s no mechanism for me to hide my assets.

I wonder when the left-wing are going to stop reading from the Gospel of Saint Nicky. There is no tax haven status in NZ. Just because a few left-wing acolytes of Saint Nicky declare it to be so doesn’t make it so.

I had hoped that just this once Mr Hager and New Zealand’s “top” journalists had it right. Sadly not.

But their hysteria should make us stop and think. Why do journalists think it okay to crack open people’s business?

Why can’t we have financial privacy?

It was Mr Hager himself who squealed his right to privacy when the police asked and obtained his bank statements without his knowledge. I came out in support of him at the time.

How come he thinks it okay for the IRD to be doing the same every day and to anyone and how come he thinks it okay for journalists to make stolen and private financial information public because – I don’t even know his reasoning?

And why can’t we keep what we earn?

Why in a world of mobile capital are we allowing governments to expand their power and surveillance to tax every last drop?

Why indeed? We should give up on income tax and opt for a consumption tax only and user pays. We could all live income tax free, safe from prying eyes.

Nicky Hager cries about his own privacy but is in reality a panty sniffing arsehole.




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  • Totara

    Why do journalists think it okay to crack open people’s business?

    Because of envy and pride.

    Pride is the root of this “we are all equal” ideology that says “I am just as deserving as those who have lots, therefore we should all have the same.” See how “I am just as good as you” is a symptom of pride? And envy flows from that.

    • Miss Phit

      We are all equal!!

      It’s just that some are more equal than others.

  • Bombastic

    I sat through the entire “Dirty Politics” episode waiting patiently for evidence of criminal wrongdoing, maybe even just ordinary wrongdoing. Hager didn’t deliver. Ditto “The Moment of Truth”. I’ve sat with the same expectations of the “Panama Papers”. Nothing, zip. Hager and the media should be tarred, feathered and run out of town. The next time that miserable half-sucked Throatie gets any media attention, he and the pathetic media shall simply be ignored for the fools they are.

    • Kevin

      I’m reading “Dirty Politics” (I managed to score a free a copy) thinking “What’s the problem here?”. What I read is the story of some very smart people outwitting and outmanoeuvring their enemies in the war know as politics, and told from the loser’s point of view. Same with the Panama Papers. All it is about is smart people (and/or their lawyers) outwitting and outmanoeuvring the taxman and paying in tax only the minimum they have to.

      • Nige.

        Free copy. Yeah it went from $50 to $30 to the $5 bin. Next thing they’ll be paying people to take them away.

      • Teletubby

        I really want to read it so I can make informed commenthat however I refuse to hand over money, that may end up in Hager’s pocket, for stolen goods. I figure that at the rate the price of it is dropping if I wait a bit longer they will pay me to take a copy away

      • Bombastic

        Essays from the loser’s point of view. I love it. That is the best description for the tripe the media has been having refractory periods (thanks Pete, I learned something new) over, but we’re only left wondering what on earth they are on about.

      • JLS

        I came to exactly the same conclusion when I watched Hagers doco The Hollow Men.

  • rangitoto

    Hager and the journalists are rank amateurs with an overblown sense of self importance. If there is any wrong doing involving NZ in the data, then the IRD will find it.

  • cows4me

    Hager and his ilk without realizing it show the total hypocrisy the left live by. They protest, scream and shout about intrusive state snooping working themselves into a frothing lathers. At the same time those pushing the leftist view are busy prying into the private lives of all they see as enemies of the ideology. The left have no real love for privacy it’s all a big con. Throughout history leftist regimes are by far the most intrusive and individual privacy is only for the elite. These are hollow and vacuous people, they are hypocrites of the highest order and scumbags to boot.

    • Dog Breath

      The issue is not so much has about government powers this is purely about an assumption that sucessful people who have gained wealth are inherently evil. Success and wealth to Hagar and his followers means evil. The funny part Hagar is wealthy through family money yet dies not apply the above rules to himself.

  • localnews

    I don’t know what hager was hoping to achieve. if he had contacted all the people whose private information he had, and charged them thousands of dollars to keep their names private he would have achieved something. All the other hackers and criminals must think he is stupid if he can’t run a decent blackmailing

  • Michelle

    Every time l hear the name Hager l think of creepy underwear drawer sniffer
    Along with his fellow Media party helpers

  • WBC

    I’m sure they have been mentioned but if anybody could please list the mainstreams story writers who worked with Nicky on the “investigation” (sorry – hitting CTRL F – I shouldn’t call that an investigation; preschoolers can do it) of the panama papers it would be great.

    Then we can add them to Stephenson, Fisher, Garner, HDPA and Wishart on the list of story writers to never trust.

    Feel free to add to the list.

  • Gladwin

    I understand Hager’s writing a book about the Panama Papers & the title will be Much Ado About Nothing.

    We should ignore this cretin. He has no credibility.